BRISBANE, Australia – The world needs more forums like the one held by The World Council of Credit Unions (WOCCU) June 22-26 in Brisbane Australia. That is the opinion of Jeff McMullen, an Australian journalist and one of the major speakers to WOCCU's Forum. McMullen is the Australian Mike Wallace, although he claims he is much, much younger. He was a major presenter for Australia's 60 Minutes until he quit in 2000. His stories have also appeared on the American version. McMullen encouraged forum delegates "to look beyond the immediate threats on our horizons to the underlying patterns that create terrorism, ongoing conflict and chaos." He said, "We follow the headlines, but we spend little time looking at what creates the angers and less time to looking ahead to where the future threats are coming from." McMullen does not claim to have come to his conclusions alone. In his line of work he has come in contact with some of the greatest minds living to today. He does not believe that we have the luxury to postpone reactions to man-made disasters. "We need great urgency to create new forums to deal in a sophisticated ways to deal with issues that endanger the human race. The WOCCU conference itself is proof that new forms can be created," he said. The number of delegates to the forum representing 44 countries proved Mc Mullen's statement that "we don't spend most of our time in a true global village." He sees that "we are far more afraid of other cultures, deeply ignorant of other cultures and little interested in solving problems of in the parts of the world that are so deeply resentful and angry towards the west." McMullen told Credit Union Times of his travels through the Middle East and Africa, across the parts of the old Empires as the Soviet Union collapsed. He saw "millions of people crossing borders, one of the greatest movement of humans in human history" and found a true pattern. McMullan says he met some of the brightest men and women from many cultures and says "they have also maintained his optimism. He believes humanity can take the necessary steps to save itself. He said that humans are bred to think of only one place as home. It is time to look for creative solutions to protect that home. That is why forums like WOCCU's are so important, McMullan said. They go beyond the problems of a small area. They take into consideration the billions of people on the other side of the cultural divide, although they can only work with a small percentage. The importance is not just in offering economic services, which is a key, but in "recognizing not the differences but the commonality of being human on each side of the cultural divide." McMullen has recently published a book A Life of Extremes, further discussing his theories and travels. He is also active with his own self-help projects, concentrating on deafness in the Aboriginals of Australia. -

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